“Why do I need a Facebook Page instead of a Facebook Profile for my business?” is a question I get asked a lot. It’s a good question too! So let’s start right at the beginning.

Most people know that Facebook can be a very effective way to generate leads for your business, if you use it the right way. However, if you don’t have a Facebook Page, you may be missing out on not only traffic to your website, but even simply missing out on potential customers and prospects even seeing you. Facebook Pages give you a chance to engage with your customers and ultimately promote your brand.

Before diving into the reasons why you need to have a Facebook Page for your business, I want to be clear about the two.

A Facebook Profile is for personal, non-commercial use only. It represents individuals and must be held under an individual name. A Facebook Page is for professional or official use, and allows an organization, business, celebrity or band to maintain a presence on Facebook. You may only create a Facebook Page to represent real organizations of which you are an authorized representative.

Now, that we’re crystal clear on the Facebook “rules”, here are the top reasons why it is so much better for you to have a Facebook Page rather than a Profile for your business anyway.

1. Facebook Could Delete Your Profile If It’s Used For A Business

Using your Facebook Profile to market your business is actually a violation of Facebook’s rules and many people are unaware of this. What this means is that after spending a lot of time building up a large amount of friends Facebook can simply delete your Facebook Profile, without notice, if you’re in breach. Facebook make it clear in their Terms and Conditions that your Facebook Profile is for personal and non-commercial use only.

2. You’re Limited To The Number Of ‘Friends’ You Can Have With A Profile

Facebook limits the number of friends you can have on your Facebook Profile to 5,000. So, why spend all that time building a base of prospects and customers on your Profile only to be limiting yourself from the begining? If you’re building a serious sustainable business then you’ll have more prospects than that over your business’ lifetime.

3. You Need To Know What Your Prospects And Customers Want

Facebook gives marketers and business owners a powerful tool called Insights that allows you to see (on a post level) how your customers and prospects react and engage with your content. Profiles don’t have this tool, only Pages do. Facebook users (on Profiles) don’t analyse how their friends react to their status updates but those of us in business care very much about this as we can post content that’s appropriate for our market and how to influence sales. Plus you also have access to extremely valuable information on your audience and their demographic, including age, gender, geographic etc. You see, whether you have 255 or 22,500 likes, the only way to really profit from a business Page is to motivate your prospects, clients and customers to click, share and, eventually, act, by buying a product or signing up for an event. And, the only way to do this is by using a Facebook Page strategically!

4. You Can Add Applications To Support Your Business With Pages

Think of a Facebook Page as another website, it’s simply a tool to help you generate revenue, so why not use its features? Applications or apps are a bit like the drop downs you find on your website menu bar. Without going into the technical details of what they are and how they work, the most important thing for you to know about is that they’re used to facilitate any number of content sharing or interaction functions between your Facebook Page, your website, other social media platforms and your prospects and customers. Apps can showcase your website, your ebook or any other promotion, email sign up, your Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or YouTube channel and even lead your audience to your Trip Advisor listing.

5. You Can Grow Your Prospect List Faster With Pages

The best way to do this is through advertising. On a Facebook Profile you can’t really advertise, whereas on a Facebook Page you can. Advertising through Facebook is simple, effective (providing you set an effective strategy and objective) and it’s still relatively cheap. Facebook ads build a list just like any other form of traditional marketing. On Facebook, you see other fans of a business or product too. You see when your friends like them. These things matter and make for more effective marketing. And, if you advertise on Facebook you’ll get access to more options and data than any other online marketing channel. For example you can target your advertising demographically and psychographically. This means that you can target an ad to editors that work at a particular company, or target people in your region that love a particular fashion store or brand or hobby, you can even target people who have been engaged in the past year. The options are really endless. With this information and ability your business can gain access to marketing gold and relevance!

6. People Want Clear Boundaries

A friend request is very different from asking someone to like your Facebook Page. If you’re sending friend requests as a Facebook Profile, you’re asking the ‘friend’ to allow you to see their photos, their friends list, their address, their phone number and perhaps their relationship status. Even if you customise your posts, by not allowing them to see this information it’s not great. When you ask someone to LIKE your Facebook Page, however, this is very different. You’re being completely clear from the start that you’re forming a business relationship and are there to engage on a business level and their privacy is secure as a business page cannot see a personal profiles private images etc. Plus, if you’re using your personal profile to promote your business, Friends can get tired of hearing about business related posts as they want to hear about you, whereas on a Page, that’s what they expect.

All the best and remember to Socialeyes! xx